It’s that exciting time of year again when New York is abuzz with excitement about the US Open. Everyone is paying attention to the scores, the highlights, and the drama. For the players and the guests of the event, the weather is a warm and breezy mix which makes viewing the matches outside very enjoyable. Sitting or standing around the courts and getting to experience the action of professional tennis players at the top of their game is a thrill to behold.
And if there’s one thing fans of tennis and e-bikers have in common, it is the joy of being active outside. Many of the players and viewers remain in good shape by exercising while they aren’t on the court. One great way to stay healthy is by e-biking to and from practice or even to the tournament itself. New York is a bike-friendly city and so electric bikes are a great way to avoid the long traffic jams during the US Open.
Today we will discuss the US Open itself, how to get to the event, which bike laws to pay attention to while e-biking around the city, as well as other activities to do before and after the event. While this year’s event runs from August 23rd through September 11th, these tips will apply to any year New York City hosts the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King Nat’l Tennis Center.
A Brief History of the U.S. Open
The US Open is one of the oldest and most sought-after events on the tennis circuit dating back to 1881. It is the fourth and final tournament of a series of tournaments collectively called the Grand Slam. For the last 42 years, the event has taken place in New York City where many of the best up-and-coming tennis players come to face off against the game’s greats each year. The excitement is palpable for the players and enthusiasts alike as the heart-pounding action gets underway.
How to Get to the U.S. Open
The US Open takes place in New York City at the USTA Billie Jean King Nat’l Tennis Center and is located in Queens, New York. As one of the premier tennis facilities in all of North America, the famous Arther Ashe Stadium resides inside the 42-acre Center and is home to the exclusive occasion. You can arrive at the US Open by foot, public transit, or bicycle.
If traveling by e-bike, you will want to pay close attention to where you leave your bike. E-bikes are expensive and should be locked at all times when not in use. Get a U-lock preferably as they are less likely to be cut with bolt cutters by a thief. You can lock your bike to any lamppost, fence, or pole provided it does not obstruct traffic or sidewalks. Do not leave your bike locked up outside overnight as thieves may be in the area. Read more about how to protect your e-bike from theft here.
If you feel more comfortable leaving your bike in a corral or under a covered Bike Shelter, check the NYC Department of Transportation website for a list of all current locations for these amenities. The closest Bike Shelter to the US Open is located at the cross streets of Austin Street and 71st Avenue but will require a 50-minute walk to the event so you may be more comfortable hailing a cab to travel the rest of the way.
Some adventurers may wish to leave their e-bike at their hotel or home and take the Long Island Rail Road which has a convenient stop at Mets-Willet Point Station from Woodside. Still, others will simply prefer to use the subway and take the 7 train to get off at the Mets-Willets Point Station.
E-bike Laws in New York City
If you plan to do e-biking before, during, or after the US Open, be sure to consider the various laws and regulations about e-biking in New York City. There are bike lanes surrounding the stadium and these should be used at all times. You must stop at all red lights and stop signs while cycling in the city and may only cross the street with pedestrians using the signals at the corners of crosswalks.
E-bikes are only legal in NYC if they have fully operable pedals and a motor putting out fewer than 750 watts of power. The rider must also be 16 or older. The Honbike U4 is one such Class I e-bike that fits the definition of an electric bike in New York. License and registration are not required for an e-bike in NYC. Read more about e bike classifications on our blog.
Things to Do at the U.S. Open
There are plenty of attractions at the US Open itself as well as in New York City. At the Tennis Center, visitors may choose from many shopping and dining options as well as alcoholic drinks. There are even several exhibits from well-known and prestigious brands on display.
If you are biking around town, additional shopping can be found on Fifth Avenue which is a famous location for New York tourists to visit. If shopping isn’t you’re your preference during your downtime between matches, take a trip to the historic Statue of Liberty located on Liberty Island.
Cycling Routes While in New York
If you are looking to take in the sights of New York City like a real local while you are visiting for the US Open, look no further than the Brooklyn Greenway. These 5 miles stretch of bike path extends from Brooklyn Bridge Park to Transmitter Park and give’s you a street-level view of one of the most iconic American cities.
Central Park is another excellent choice for a scenic and peaceful ride away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With over 6 miles of green grass, fountains, and lush trees, Columbus Circle is the place to be. As the main road for biking and walking, it is closed to motor vehicles. Be sure to yield to pedestrians and stay below the electric bike speed limit of 20 miles per hour whenever you are biking in New York.
How to Watch the U.S. Open
Now you know all about the US Open and how to attend the event in person by e-bike or any other mode of transportation. If you are not catching the matches live in New York, you can still watch the matches on ESPN and you can listen live on the official USOpen.org Radio station by visiting the website. Highlights from the Men’s, Women’s, and Doubles tournament matches can also be viewed on YouTube and other news sites. Staying home and watching the event will allow you plenty of time to get your daily exercise via e-bike.